Class 3 Visit to The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art and the National Centre for Children's Books (Seven Stories)
On Thursday, we got to think about and do some art on our class trip to Newcastle. As we have been looking at architecture in our lessons, the Quayside in Gateshead is the perfect place to see a wide variety of architectural styles and forms. Just standing outside The Baltic Centre (unfortunately in the rain!) we were able to see several different bridge designs, the high-tech style of The Sage, modern additions to The Baltic’s factory façade and everything in between. Inside The Baltic, we really enjoyed the glass lift which enabled us to look out over the Tyne while whizzing skywards! The size and scale of The Baltic is incredible and there were so many places were the space changed from low ceilings to high vaulted rooms, some even with glass ceilings that made us look up and say “Wow!” At first, we had an explore of an exhibition using different mixed and multimedia techniques to look at environmental themes. It was really interactive, including a space where projectors are used to make it feel like you are standing inside the artwork. Then we had a go at producing some artwork ourselves. We tried out different sketching techniques to draw the bridges that we could see stretching across the Tyne and explored coloured washes to match the colours we could see across the Tyne and all the buildings, thinking carefully about what we are actually seeing, not just what we think we see.
After The Baltic, we hopped back on the bus for a quick ride over to Seven Stories, where we ate a quick lunch before winding our way up the seven storeys of the amazing building to the very top and into the most magical attic any of us had ever seen. With oversized furniture, twinkling lights, illustrated back drops and some exciting tables set up for us, it was just like we had stepped inside a storybook. Here, our workshop leader Rosie, led us on a journey to the Amazon to explore the story of Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson. As we had just finished the story in class it was a lovely opportunity to explore what we knew already and dive deeper into some parts of the book. We got to explore a Brazilian market stall to find facts about the Amazon and think carefully about how the main character Maia might have felt at different points by writing a letter back home, imagining we were Maia. We then had a chance to explore all the exhibits throughout Seven Stories where we got to find out about the different types of story, discover books about magic and see artefacts from famous books and authors – including authors’ crossings out and edits!